If you think you have cockroaches you probably do. Seeing one cockroach in your house is enough. If you are worried about having cockroaches or other pests in your house then you will need to do regular monthly inspections of your house to look for the signs of a cockroach infestation. The primary sign of all pests and rodents is the presence of feces. Cockroach feces look like dots, like tiny bits of black pepper. There can also be smears of feces which is a strong sign that you have cockroaches. One of the most important signs to look for is cockroach egg sacks. They are called ootheca and are wrapped in a leathery carapace. This is because cockroaches only have a gastrointestinal pathway in their bodies and no birth canal. So the eggs must be covered in a protective coating or sack to prevent them from being digested by the cockroach’s very strong stomach acid. The cockroach will birth the sack from the same end they defecate from and in that process, the hatchlings that crawl out of it will already be coated in the cockroach’s feces making them very dangerous. If you find one of these oothecae which are smaller than a penny you must act quickly as the cockroaches in your home are already giving birth. Cockroaches produce many dangers to humans. They can defecate on the food you have left out and if you do not know you have cockroaches and eat it you can end up with serious bowel distress. This is because cockroaches live in the sewers and are coated in human feces as well as their own. Cockroaches also go through hundreds of moulting stages where their carapace is stripped from their bodies in fragments. These fragments can float in the air and cause respiratory distress, especially in someone who already has a respiratory illness like Asthma or a lung issue like cancer or even just a cold or the flu.
If you have discovered these signs in your home or have seen a live cockroach you must act quickly. Getting a professional treatment done is the best way to go but if you want to try a domestic treatment you must use more than just gel bait. There is a three-pronged approach to dealing with cockroaches in your home. The first step is insecticidal dust. This is normally silicon dioxide which can catch in their carapace and scratch the waxy layer that keeps liquid in their bodies. This is a highly effective treatment but cannot be used on its own. You can also use permethrin which is a chemical derived from the chrysanthemum plant. It is dangerous for humans to inhale it directly so when spraying it keep it away from your mouth or nose. The best method is holding the can one foot away from the area you are spraying and using it as a baseboard spray and along the wall where the counter meets it. This can be done all around the house or apartment and will kill the cockroaches when they walk on it. The smell will also drive them away. Using gel bait in areas like behind the fridge and oven and the bathroom behind the toilet and sink is also highly effective. If you are still seeing them after four weeks it is likely time to get the professional treatment done.